Hammer Nutrition tech tee, 5 Hammer Gels, 6 Hammer Endurolytes Extreme and a bottle of Heed equipped me with all I needed. About 10min prior to the start, we received final instructions from race director, Mike Dolin, and a prayer...and the downpour began. Shortly after the "amen," we were off.
The Sasquatch 50K and 25K consist of one or two 25K loops and are most easily understood if you divide the loop into 4 pieces. The race begins with about 1/4 mile run down the run before hopping on the trail and immediately, a half mile climb begins without a break. "Welcome to the Sasquatch!!!" The first section is 5.1 miles and the other 3 are around 4mi each...just a bit less in each segment. Other than that major climb and some other climbs in that first section, there is also a "slicker-than-snot" downhill through the hemlocks just prior to AS #1. In the second section, there is another climb followed by 1-2 miles of road before appearing at AS #2...the best aid station, in my opinion. They were cheering like the finish which definitely put a smile on my face. Oh yea, the sasquatch was out there! Near some ledges, he was lurking and grunting...apparently disturbed by all the runners out there. I almost stopped for a photo op...but didn't. Seeing him sure did put a smile on my face. (Nice touch, Mike!) After AS #2, another very steep climb awaits. I was dreading that one both times today. Getting to AS #3 is a huge landmark, in my opinion. Only 4-ish miles remain to the finish for the 25K'ers and halfway point for us doing the 50K...AND, no real climbs. Somewhere around a mile to mile and a half to go to AS #4, a series of switchbacks begin that are rocky and steep. Oh how foolish it would be to not keep your eyes on the trail here! Eventually, I arrived at AS #4, refilled my Heed and grabbed my first real food of the day...well "sorta" real: PRINGLES! So so good. Other than that, I spent next to no time in the aid stations and only fueled with what I was carrying. I did have a drop bag here for the "just in case" things like a need to change a shirt or re-lube any areas that started to chafe due to the rain. Since I had zero physical issues (except ready for a shower, thanks to the caked on mud on my legs), I just got going on loop #2 while the bulk of runners around me headed towards their 25K finish. Course map is below. Nice elevation map, eh?! See that nearly vertical spike? That would be that ugly "hill" after leaving AS #2. It's maybe just a sliver more in climb than the initial climb that starts the race.
- Timekeeper: You guys are really chasing each other out there!
- Me: Huh?
- Timekeeper: Yea, you're 10th overall!
- Me: Wait a minute, that's impossible. This guy (pointing at myself) never does that.
- Timekeeper: Look! (shows me his clipboard)
- Me: Oh I know, I am just never anywhere near the front. I'm typically a mid-packer...but thank you!
|Unique, eh?! The race director had a brand made and he takes slices of trees and brands them. One of a kind!|